Friday, 4 July 2014

Rowan Knitting & Crocheting Magazine 56, Part 2: A Review

Welcome to Part 2 of my review of Rowan Knitting & Crocheting Magazine's issue no. 56, Part 1 having been published two days ago.

The Martina design is a good piece of work. I do like to see a vertical stripe pattern now and then. Designers tend to go with the horizontal stripe so much more often, probably because it's easier to knit, but the fact is that vertical stripes are so much more flattering that they're worth the extra work.

The Gisela pullover. Very pretty. It has a certain vintage-like feel to it. Smart little short-sleeved knit tops were a wardrobe staple for women between the 1930s through the early 1960s.

The Anja design. This isn't bad. I wouldn't pair it with a flirty little skirt, though. It looks more to me like a very casual piece that belongs with jeans.

The Franziska pullover. I can't get behind (or more to the point, into) the very oversized sweater thing. They're unflattering for most women and they catch on things and generally look sloppy. The overall design of this is quite attractive, but if I were to make this I'd make it a standard fit and raise those dropped shoulders.

The Karolin sweater. This is attractively and interestingly patterned sweater, but I wouldn't wear it with that pink skirt. For that matter, I wouldn't wear that pink skirt with anything.

The Brigit sweater. This is totally cute. Love the polka dot and stripe combination, and the shape is excellent.

The Lea pullover. Another little top with vintage appeal. This is really adorable.

The Isolde Wrap has a southwestern U.S. style, an offbeat colourway, and a name from a German opera. There's nothing like a little eclecticism, I suppose, especially when a knitter can take or leave all three. I do like the wrap, though it would need to be styled a certain way to work.

The Ulrika cardigan. I would have called this one The Coat of Many Colours, but it doesn't seem like a design likely to arouse much jealousy in one's siblings. I think it falls down on the sleeves, which look too drab and disconnected from the rest of the sweater even though they do echo the brownish stripe used through the body, and in the shape, which is too much on the shapeless side.

The Symphony design. This lace tunic is pretty in its way, though I am trying to figure out how one would style it. One would need to wear basically a full outfit under it (unless one is, say, Rhianna), and that would take some thought, because layering another sweater under it would be too bulky and I don't think wearing trousers under it would look right. I don't think even this professionally styled outfit is quite working. I may seem to have gone off topic here, but figuring out how you'll wear an item should be part of your decision process when you decide whether and how to make it if you want to be able wear it once you're done. I have one sweater I have yet to wear even though I love it, because nothing I own looks quite right with it and I haven't gotten around to buying or making something specifically to go with it.

The Poetry sweater. This is pretty basic but it's a competent piece of design and could be a useful item for a woman to have if the tunic-length sweater is her style and works on her figure.

The Muse pattern. This is a very simple item, but it does have some texture and the shape is good. The thing to do with basic patterns like this is to make them in a beautiful yarn in a colour you love, because it'll wind up looking like a special piece as well as one that you can wear to death.

The Prose design looks like a costume straight off the set of Depressed Housewives. If you're going to knit this one, make sure it buttons through the hips, because "a few strained buttons done up in the middle" is not a flattering look. You can probably also find a more appealing colour than this drab oatmeal.

The Song tunic. This piece is filet crochet. I like it — the shape is good and the chevron pattern is a nice look.

The Melody sweater. Not a bad piece, though I think I'd go for a more sophisticated colour than a pastel.

The Lyric pattern. Not a bad little piece but it won't be the easiest sweater to wear. It would me look terribly dumpy. Shortening the cap sleeves by a few inches and lengthening the body/making the waistband shorter would make this an easier item to carry off.

The Ballard pullover. This is one of those designs even a model can't carry off.

The Drama pattern. I don't know why they named this pattern Drama because there is no drama in sight. The split hems are the only design feature here, and they aren't adding anything. I'd give this pattern a pass entirely, because it's nothing special in any way and there are so many wonderful patterns out there.

The Verse design. This isn't a bad basic sweater, but I'd neaten up the fit somewhat.

The Stanza sweater. I like this one. I think my favourite thing about it is the wide turtleneck, which is a good way for those of us who don't look good in turtlenecks to wear a turtleneck.

The Rhyme design. I like this one, but I would make those sleeves more fitted. Baggy sleeves never did a woman any favours.


  1. What a boring collection...hardly anything seems worth the effort and money to make!

  2. Thanks for the great critique! Great for deciding which projects to leave alone and which to attack (sometimes literally)!